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Peom - James Shirley------ "Death, The Leveler.


The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things.

There is no Armour against Fate.

Death lays his icy hand on kings.

Scepter and Crown.

Must tumble down;

And in the dust be equal made.

With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field.

And plant fresh laurels where they kill:

But their strong nerves at last must yield;

They tame but one another still:

Early or late

They stoop to fate,

And must give up their murmuring breath.

When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The gardlands wither on your brow;

Then boast no more your mighty deeds!

Upon Death purple altar now

See where the victor-victim bleeds,

Your heads must come

To the cold tomb:

Only the actions of the just

See sweet and blossom in their dust.

Questions and Answers;

1. What is the theme or the central/main of the poem?

Ans; The peom gives us a message that death is a great leveller. Death comes to all. All are same before death.

It is very beautiful poem.

2. What lesson do you get from this poem?

Ans; Death spares none, it reduces e everyone to dust. It treats the mighty and the weak equally.

Therefore, it is useless to boast of one's power or wealth. Only our good actions remain after our death. So we should always be just in our actions.

3. What does the expression"scythe and spade" stand for?

Ans; The given expression stands for the poor, peasants and labourers. These people become equal with the kings in death. Death makes no difference between them and the kings.

4. Do the the conquerors tame death or the death?

Ans; Conquerors can tame only the death. They have no power over death. Rather it is death that have over powers them and reduces them to dust

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Crown James Shirley------ Peom Scepter

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